Winrock International on Monday announced it has awarded 126 volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service.
Established in 2003, the award is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.
As one of thousands of certifying organizations participating in the award program, Winrock International confers the award to recognize the outstanding achievements of its volunteers.
Winrock has a long history of international volunteer service, and more than 200 volunteers have been known to perform volunteer service each year on behalf of the organization.
Teresa M. Roebuck from Conway is one of such volunteers. Contributing more than 250 hours of volunteer service on international assignments at the Institut Supérieur Agronomic et Vétérinaire de Faranah (ISAVF) in Guinea, West Africa, Roebuck demonstrates how local citizens can truly make a difference in today’s world.
In her first assignment, Roebuck worked closely with the English professor to provide training on computer lab usage and integration of lab materials into existing English coursework. She worked closely with club leadership and members to organize and structure extracurricular learning using the language lab resources.
Roebuck, the faculty and club leadership explored new ways for club members to interact and make the most of existing equipment in the English lab.
During her second assignment in Guinea, Roebuck helped the library faculty and staff to integrate an electronic Library Management System.
This allowed the university to modernize the maintenance of the library collection. She trained the staff and faculty in the use of the system and provided recommendations for future updates.
Volunteers said they find these assignments to be personally and professionally rewarding. Helping people help themselves is a contribution that makes sense, they said.
Roebuck said the opportunity to work in Guinea has provided her with a new appreciation of the world and the diversity of peoples and cultures in it.
"I have been blessed to be able to serve in a way that provides so many benefits to me as a person, too," she said. "These opportunities give me a wider, more inclusive world view, and allow me to make friends that I know I shall cherish forever."
DeAnn McGrew, director of Agriculture and Volunteer Programs at Winrock, said: "Volunteerism is a core American value. It connects us to our neighbors, whether they are local or global, and gives us an opportunity to use our skills for a greater good. As a certifying organization for the award program, Winrock International is proud to be aligned with this prestigious volunteer award, and we are especially proud of our volunteers who have made volunteer service a central part of their lives."
The award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President George Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make. The council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits and volunteer service organizations, and community volunteering.
For more information about volunteering for Winrock International, visit www.winrock.org/volunteer.
For more information about how to qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov.